Today was a slower day for us as we rounded the southern tip of the South Island. Last night we ate in Invercargill. One Kiwi described it to us as a town that seagulls fly upside down over. Most tourists bypass it altogether, but we stopped for Thai food before heading out into the hinterlands between Orepuki and Curio Bay. In Curio Bay we quickly discovered that the lodge we were staying at had used some pretty deceptive photography in their advertising. It was nothing like what we saw online. Our main reason for staying in Curio Bay was for the wildlife.
The world's smallest dolphins live in Curio Bay. They're called Hector Dolphins and we could just make out two dorsal fins about 100 meters off shore. I guess they were dolphins. Apparently they'll swim with you if you get in the water. A quick check with the old "toe" thermometer revealed we would've needed a wetsuit for that, so we opted for a beach walk instead.
After checking out of the lodge we made a short drive to see the petrified forest on the beach. This was probably my highlight of the day. From an early age my dad instilled me with a love of fossils.
We hopped back in the car and made stops at various waterfalls in the Catlins before ending up at Nugget Point.
Tonight we're staying staying in Dunedin. Going to explore the city in the morning and hopefully find some penguins further up the coast at dusk.